Kanye West, Willie Wilson face challenges to signatures needed to get on November ballot

One Chicagoan seeks to get West tossed from the ballot because the doesn’t think the musician is mentally fit to be president.

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Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, Sunday, July 19, 2020 in North Charleston, S.C. Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue Sunday touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals.

Kanye West’s nominating petitions to get on the Illinois presidential ballot face at least three separate challenges.

AP file

Complete coverage of the local and national primary and general election, including results, analysis and voter resources to keep Chicago voters informed.

1Musician Kanye West and businessman Willie Wilson face several challenges to their nominating petitions filed to get their names on the Illinois ballot Nov. 3.

West, who seeks to run for president of the United States, is facing three separate objections to the legitimacy of the signatures gathered to get him on the ballot in Illinois.

Wilson, who aims to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Dick Durbin, faces one challenge, according to Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich.

Although official details about who filed the challenges and why won’t be made public by the board until it meets Monday, two of the objections have been made public by the filers.

Alvin Boutte, CEO of Bronzeville Academy Charter School, contends most of the signatures gathered to get West on the ballot don’t match signatures on the state’s voter rolls. It also contends the addresses given by people who signed don’t match addresses on the state’s voter rolls, according to attorney Pericles Abbasi, who filed the objection on behalf of Boutte.

“We’ve already seen what happens when people who are mentally unfit are in office,” Boutte said, referring to his opinion of President Donald Trump. “So I thought it was important to challenge someone who most of us see as mentally unfit right now.”

West has publicly shared his struggles with bipolar disorder.

Boutte said he filed the challenge to stay true to his own convictions. “No one asked me to do this,” he said.

The objection against signatures filed by Wilson was lodged by Doris Turner, a Democrat who serves as an alderwoman in Springfield.

Turner points out that the amount of signatures needed by independent and third party candidates was reduced from 25,000 to 2,500 by a federal judge, who cited the difficulty of gathering signatures during a pandemic. 

Wilson is running as a third party candidate under the “Willie Wilson Party.”

Turner contends if the ruling is reversed by a pending appeal, Wilson should be tossed from the ballot.

Hearing officers will be assigned to review each challenge at the Illinois State Board of Elections meeting Monday. All objections will also be made public Monday.

The board will make decide on each challenge at a meeting Aug. 21.

Board meetings will be held virtually and streamed online.

Unlike West, Wilson has some political experience, albeit unsuccessful. He twice failed to become mayor of Chicago. And he failed to become the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

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